Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Am I Old Or Just Wiser?

A schoolboy collapsed and went into convulsions after playing a new version of the “World of Warcraft” online computer game for 24 hours straight. The 15-year-old boy and his friends were exploring the “Wrath of the Lich King” expansion pack when he suffered what appeared to be an epileptic seizure, it was reported earlier this week. Now, in total truth, I have no idea what this game is or what the Wrath of Lich is. But, that doesn’t really relate to this story.

“They played all day and all night. Maybe they got a few hours of sleep. They ate a little food and breakfast at their computers,” the boy's father told a newspaper in Sweden.

Doctors told the father that his son’s bodily systems had been disrupted by a combination of sleep deprivation, lack of food, and the prolonged period of concentration playing the game.
The teenager and six friends were reported to have gathered at his home in Laholm, western Sweden, on Saturday to play the updated version of the game, which went on sale Thursday. He collapsed at around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The boy is expected to make a full recovery but his father said he plans on limiting the amount of time his son is allowed to play computer games.

Oh, so many questions here. Now, as a disclaimer, let me say that I love to play video games. My addiction to video games started in college! I played hours and hours of Pac Man and other games in the Student Center at Samford University. Maybe I should have spent less time there and more hours in the library, but I digress!

But, somehow, I always knew my limit playing video games—usually when I ran out of quarters!

Now, how many students have to collapse playing video games before parents know there’s a problem? Seriously! Don’t parents know the dangers of video games or computer usage? Is this a top secret fact that many parents don’t know about? Common on people! If you don’t know this truth, go back and reread this story again. See the dangers!

Then, another question, why was a parent letting their child eat all of his meals at the computer? How healthy can that be?

Folks, left to their own vices, children and teenagers don’t always make the right choices, is that news to anyone? Not all teenagers. Not all children. Not all parents are bad. But, there have been way too many stories like this lately.

Take some time to turn off the computer. Focus on your family. Read a good book. Read a bad book. Listen to some music. Take a walk. Go for a run. Just don’t be controlled by some piece of electronics!


  1. Ouch, Michael. You probably don't remember the song, either...

    Seriously, a lot of parents want to be the "friend" not the "parent" - THAT is the root of this problem. Saying "no" is not bad, and might make the child upset, temporarily, but that's why we're the parents - we get to leverage the bigger picture perspective and make the tough-love decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Even when the children don't think we're right or fair.

  2. Michael,

    That wasn't EVEN funny...

    Since I tend to have an addictive personality, I tend to spend too much time playing games. I can blow through 4 hours on a game without realizing it. Well, not lately. Sally keeps a tight ship.

    Anyway, I'm a grown-up (supposedly) and know that if I waste time on the computer, I have to face the consequences. Kids don't understand that and need some guidance. I think my kids would practically LIVE at the computer if we let them, but they know that stop means NOW!

  3. My 14 yrs old and 13 yrs old boys are banned from the Xbox til Christmas. They were to be doing homework and instead they were gaming. Seth has made fast tracks to get his quarter reading completed in hopes to play again. Clark well he is just being stubborn-as they wont get it back anyway attitude. Grr...boys!
    But he does know his momma well!!! Poor kid!
    But the past two weeks....I have had help with making dinner. There have been less petty arguments amongst the kids. I'm getting more sleep as we are all in bed on time. The boys have been alot less irritable. With less arguing there is more "sharing" as their mouths are always moving one way or another!!!!! Its been sooo nice!
    Xbox anyone?


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.